- Intimate, select camp
- Wonderful riverside location
- Premium service and guiding
- Wildlife in camp
Old Mondoro is an exclusive yet authentic bush camp on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park. This select, upmarket camp offers polished service, high levels of comfort, and superb, informative guiding. Offering just four riverside chalets for guests uninhibited by higher prices, Old Mondoro will suit travellers seeking an intimate and immersive wildlife experience. Set in a tranquil acacia and winterthorn grove, the camp overlooks a group of islands frequented by hippo pods and bull elephants. This remote eastern corner of the park sees little tourist traffic, and offers superb wildlife viewing, including high numbers of elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, and waterbuck, along with frequent sightings of leopard.
A 45 minute transfer from Jeki airstrip, the camp is one hour downstream from its larger sister camp, Chiawa. Whilst offering similar high standards of cuisine, service, and activities, the focus at Old Mondoro is simpler and more elemental, with many visitors choosing to combine a stay at both camps. Old Mondoro is open from April to November, although visitors from October onwards should come prepared for the extremely high temperatures which coincide with the area’s peak wildlife density.
The thatched, open-sided main area or ‘chitenge’ comprises a comfortable lounge and dining area with a large communal table. Outside is a lovely campfire area overlooking the Zambezi. Mealtimes are usually al fresco, featuring delicious, high quality Afro-European cuisine. Guests can enjoy buffet style lunches in a remote bush location or out on the river, and multiple course dinners by the campfire or under the stars.
Numerous activities include day and night game drives, and bush walks. The camp is renowned for its excellent walking safaris, facilitated by top notch guiding and good visibility in the surrounding woodland and floodplain. Water-based activities include exciting canoe excursions along the Zambezi, relaxing river safaris, and catch-and-release fishing.
The accommodation comprises four open-sided reed and canvas chalets with roll-down canvas blinds. Built on raised decking, each chalet has one king or two twin beds, draped with mosquito nets. An ensuite bathroom comprises twin basins with hot and cold water, and flush WC, whilst outdoors is a huge stone bathtub and luxurious shower overlooking the river. A shaded veranda with superb views includes a daybed for relaxation. The chalets have 24 hour electric lighting, charging points, and electric fans, although note that Wi-Fi is not available.
Children over eight years are extremely welcome. A fifth and larger family unit has a similar specification to the other chalets, with an additional second bedroom and bathroom. Note there is a minimum age of 12 years for canoe safari and guided walking. The camp does not offer child specific activities, and may be more suited to older children. As this riverside camp is unfenced and wild animals, particularly elephants, regularly roam through, parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times.
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
We had the most incredible time thank you. We loved Karen Blixen camp and felt part of a family there, it was incredibly special. And Breezes was very relaxing.
We can't fault all the transfers and the moment we were greeted on the tarmac at Nairobi airport we knew we were going to be well cared for.
Thank you so much to you and all the Tourdust team for making it such a happy and memorable trip.
Zoe A reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Beach on 27 August 2019